Savannah, Atlanta panned as places to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day

By David Pendered

“Kiss my green grits!” That was the response in the Savannah Morning News to a report that showed Savannah is the 60th best place in the country to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day.

Even Darth Vader and his warriors have celebrated their Irish ancestry in Atlanta's St. Patrick's Day Parade. Credit: atlantastpats.com

Even Darth Vader and his warriors have celebrated their Irish ancestry in Atlanta’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Credit: atlantastpats.com

Evidently, the low-ish ranking isn’t enough to dissuade a crowd of about a half-million that’s expected to spend the day milling around Savannah, according to a report on savannahnow.com.

In Atlanta, ranked 54th, the report from WalletHub didn’t even elicit a response.

Atlanta’s annual St. Patrick’s Day parade was held March 11. A post on the sponsor’s website already has thanked the city for another great parade and is seeking volunteers for the 2018 parade.

That’s not to say there’s not a big celebration planned in Atlanta on Friday.

RiRa, an Irish Pub in Midtown, has an event permit issued by the city to host an outdoor block party that starts at 2 p.m. The pub is the only site listed on the city’s web page as having a an event permit for a Friday celebration. According to a report on the pub’s website:

  • “Tickets now on sale at $15 including a draft Guinness beer or $20 on the day of the event!
  • “Live music from Members Only, Wild Honey and the Francisco Vidal Band from 2pm until late. Don’t miss out and help us party like the Irish do!!”

St. Patrick’s Day is officially celebrated on March 17. That’s the day recognized as the death of St. Patrick. He is described as, “the patron saint and national apostle of Ireland. St Patrick is credited with bringing christianity to Ireland,” according to a report on st-patricks-day.com.

St. Patrick's Day

RiRa Irish Pub, in Midtown, is the only venue in Atlanta that has an event permit for a party to observe March 17, the traditional day when St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated. Credit: rira.com

Given that St. Patrick’s Day has become a movable feast on the calendar, WalletHub went ahead and posted its report on March 9. WalletHub delivers frequent “best of” reports – Best Places for Valentine’s Day; Best Cities for Halloween; Best Cities for New Year’s Eve.

The report on WalletHub’s website has some fun with the topic. It observes that almost 33 million individuals in the U.S. claim Irish descent. That’s more folks than the entire population of Ireland, the story reports.

Here’s a snippet from the story that sets the table for the report:

  • “But not every city that celebrates St. Patrick’s Day is worth kissing the Irish for. WalletHub compared 200 of the largest cities across 16 key metrics to find the best places to wear green and save some, too. Our data set ranges from ‘Irish pubs and restaurants per capita’ to ‘lowest price for a three-star hotel on St. Patrick’s Day’ to ‘weather forecast.’ Read on for the list of winners, expert tips and our methodology.”

The top five cities might surprise: Buffalo, N.Y.; Madison, Wi.; Boston; Cedar Rapids, Ia.; and Worcester, Ma.

Other cities that make a, “Who knew?” list include Fort Lauderdale, Fl. (30); New Orleans (42); Cary, N.C. (40); and Tulsa, Ok., which at a ranking of 53rd nudged out Atlanta (54) and Savannah (60).

Despite the snub, the Savannah paper didn’t get too snarky. But one blog did respond in kind.

In a report under the headline, “Erin go Blah??? Site slams Savannah St. Patrick’s Day,” reporter Josh Rayburn observed:

  • “But what you should do is enjoy all that Savannah has to offer for its St. Patrick’s Day traditions and revelry at our St. Patrick’s Day site HERE and downloading our official Savannah St. Patrick’s Day app HERE.
  • “And don’t forget to wear green on Friday!”

A comment on the story attributed to Murray Silver, Jr., who wears a green jacket in his photo, reads:

  • “WalletHub is based in Washington DC, and in the words of Forrest Gump, that’s all I have to say about that…”

 

David Pendered, Managing Editor, is an Atlanta journalist with more than 30 years experience reporting on the region’s urban affairs, from Atlanta City Hall to the state Capitol. Since 2008, he has written for print and digital publications, and advised on media and governmental affairs. Previously, he spent more than 26 years with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and won awards for his coverage of schools and urban development. David graduated from North Carolina State University and was a Western Knight Center Fellow. David was born in Pennsylvania, grew up in North Carolina and is married to a fifth-generation Atlantan.

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